With its starting quarterback sidelined, Oklahoma put on another miserable performance on Saturday. And this time it came against its most passionate rival, Texas.
The Sooners were beaten 49-0 by the Longhorns on Saturday in the Red River rivalry. With the loss, Oklahoma fell to 3-3 for the first time since 2009 and saw its four-game winning streak against Texas come to an end. Additionally, the 49-point margin is the largest ever in a loss to Texas. The loss also marks the first time Oklahoma is 0-3 in Big 12 play since 1998.
It was ugly for Brent Venables’ team.
With Dillon Gabriel out due to an injury he sustained in last week’s loss to TCU, the Sooners were completely lost offensively. Pitt transfer Davis Beville started at quarterback and struggled mightily, completing just six of 12 attempts for 38 yards and an interception. Oklahoma’s only offensive success came from a savage forfeit, but even that resulted in disaster.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s defense was on fire for the third week in a row. Texas had Quinn Ewers back in the roster at quarterback for the first time since being injured against Alabama. He was locked up.
Ewers threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns that day. Three of those scores came in the second quarter to help the Longhorns take a 28-0 halftime lead.
UT’s rushing attack with Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson also thrived. Robinson led the way with 130 yards and two scores while Johnson threw for 57 yards.
It was a solid and effective performance by the Longhorns against a completely overwhelmed opponent.
In total, Texas racked up 585 yards, including 354 in the first half. With Saturday’s result, Oklahoma gave up a combined 1,762 yards in its first three Big 12 games. That’s an average of 587.3 yards over those three games.
Texas is now 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12 so far this year. Iowa State travels to Austin next weekend ahead of what could be a crucial road trip to Oklahoma State in a tight Big 12 race.
A disgrace to Oklahoma
Oklahoma was going to struggle without Gabriel in the roster, but losing 49-0 is an unacceptable result for Venables’ program.
Venables is in his first year on the job after Lincoln Riley ran away for USC. After his long and successful run as Clemson’s defensive coordinator, an infusion of toughness and discipline on this side of the ball was to come with the arrival of Venables.
Instead, Oklahoma has one of the worst defenses in the nation.
And as bad as the defense played, it was shocking to see Oklahoma so lifeless on offense. The Sooners finished the day with just 195 yards and were a miserable 3 of 15 on third down. It was Oklahoma’s first shutout loss since 1998 and its worst shutout loss ever.
The Sooners have long had one of the best offenses in the nation, so it’s kind of baffling that OU had no options at quarterback beyond Beville — who was no higher than third on the depth chart at Pitt during his three seasons with the Panthers.
The Sooners saw a significant exodus of players from the program following Riley’s departure and were subsequently forced to add many players from the transfer portal. As a result, many new and inexperienced players are getting significant action for Oklahoma this year.
But that’s no excuse for the product that showed up on the court in losses to Kansas State, TCU and now Texas.
The Sooners won four Big 12 titles in Riley’s five seasons and made three trips to the college football playoffs. In the first year under Venables, the Sooners might struggle to reach a bowling game.
Once Gabriel is back, the offense should be much better and keep the Sooners competitive. But it’s difficult to win games with a defense that plays so badly.